It's Been 2 years

Wednesday, September 30th 2 years ago, a strong earthquake occured at Padang, West Sumatera with a magnitude 7.6. During my lifetime, i never imagined to be a witness of this big disaster. Me and 2 of my friends, Bangkai and Uni were there when an earthquake hit city of Padang at 5:17 pm. 

Until now, i still remember that day,

It was a week after Idul Fitr, at 10:00 am we just arrived from Jakarta after took our holiday during Ied and went back to Mentawai Island (at that time we worked for a research station in Mentawai Island) and usually to reach that island we have to go by a ship from a harbour in Padang and depart at night. So, we spent our time in our office at Jl. Dobi, where is not too far from harbour and also still in downtown area. Actually we planned to go to Padang Traditional Market to bought some foods and logistics to bring into island but somehow we cancelled it and prefer to stayed at office (Now, i really thankful we cancelled that plan because when earthquake hit Padang area, that market was on big fire!) We just killed time by talked, slept, called our family and research's staff, since on that time was a holiday period,  all staffs were off to work,except us the field research assistants and office was empty. We were slept and woke up at 4:30 pm, Uni was did something in front of computer meanwhile me and Bangkai watched TV until.....  5:17 pm we felt lamps, fan and all things that hang on wall shaked so heavy and caused rumble sounds, at the first we thought it's kind of usual earthquake (because since we were in Mentawai Island it so common small earthquake occured maybe more than 3 times a day) but until few second, the shake becaming huge and we realized a big earthquake was occured!!! spontaneously we ran out from office with bring nothing!! 

The first thing we knew was went out as soon as you can and it was not easy job, earth below us was shaking so hard, rumbling, shifting!! and while we try to ran out i could see wall beside us was almost fell down and bore down upon us!! We made our way into the main road where we thought as a safe place. It was some kind of horror and scary experience! You could heard people started repeatedly saying "Allahuakbar!" load cries of scared coming out from surrounding and we could see fire from one of cinema not far from our office. Small earthquakes was happened again after the big one, the ground continued make waving motions and after that phone connection was lost! we made one called to office's staff in Jakarta but it couldn't work anymore after other quake occured. 

we could see buildings within our view were falling at an abrupt rate. People still running, screaming, crying and panic as well as Uni, she was shakes and we still hold on our hand each other, stood up in the middle of crowd and most people were doing anything they could to see if their's loved ones were still alive. Being in the middle of disaster like that.. we felt so powerless, dwarft, again reminded us about so closely we are to death. 

After few minutes, we encouraged ourselves to came back to office take our sandals and backpack. And honestly, that was so scary!! Even to open the door, we afraid if we open it and wall above us will fell down and strike us. We spent less than 5 minutes to bring our stuff because we know we had to be quick, we did't want another quake start while we were in the building. Entering office, we staring around and realized whole inside was destroyed, everything in the office now on the floor, we took breads and water from refrigerator then ran out from office (Actually, there was Rendang in kitchen, but since we panic and too scared to step further, we just took bread and water).

Condition in street still crowded and more chaotic at night. We saw a body was being carried out by motorbike and the man looked dead, we heard a guy still stuck in the middle of construction, we saw an old man desperately looking for his child and there were fires illuminating in the sky. With a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach we went into survival mode. We still hold our hand together and made decision to get to Mosque. I don't know was that just suggestion or not but in our faith we thought that we would be safer there. That night was kind of another horror for us,  in the middle of night, heavy rain outside, no phone connection, no electricity for whole city, siren couldn't stop ringing, people still looking for their family and relatives and we couldn't sleep at that night, just sat close and looking directly one each other's eyes and telepathically saying without talking, "everything will be fine and help will coming soon!" an earthquake was hit again on that night and some people prefer to stayed outside.

Thursday, October 1st, new hope.. we increased our pace and started through the city looked like a wasteland on the daytime. It seemed every other building we saw was rubble and the ones still standing were twisted and unsafe. We passed Ambacang Hotel, Primagama and several buildings those had major damage. But we still wondering and hoping if there was anyway someone could survived from that damage. So feeling powerless, once again we moved on. We were in awe of destruction, there were houses and buildings on top of cars, rescue team and military was trying to unbury people that were fighting for their lives. 

During those 2 days we just ate 2 piece of bread which we brought from office. We knew, Padang area now scarce of food and fuel and we just afraid if people getting desperate it would be not too long before heavy looting and robberies. In the middle of chaotic condition like thing, anything could be happen. We tried to made phone connection and sometimes it's worked! We got a lot of worried texts from family, friends, office staffs and relatives but since we had limited phone connection and batteries we just made calls to office's staff and they tried to take us out from Padang as soon as they can. 

We also tried to call a local staff here and asked his condition, we were so happy to heard that he's okay also his family although his house was shattered. We met him at second night and so thankful he brought dinners for us! Bang Veri, we really thankful for your hospitality!!! He suggested us to still stayed at mosque and get out from major part of city as soon as possible. 

Friday, October 3rd, Condition in Padang more worst than before, you can smell of dead bodies almost around Padang City, it's so sad to knew that smell came from people whose trapped and couldn't survived from this disaster. We got a text from office at 10 am and said they able to reserved flight tickets for us tonight!!! It's so relief!!! even though, it's so hard to get taxi from Padang city to Minangkabau Airport, finally we could take taxi and shared it with another passenger. Since fuel price was drastically increased affected to taxi's price. Usually we have to pay Rp 50,000 to airport, but on that time we had to pay Rp. 150,000. We arrived in airport and saw rescue teams from Switzerland, Red Cross and Merci Corps. Hopefully with their help, more people could be saved. Minangkau Airport itself had minor damage on the roof and cracks in some part of walls. 

That night, at 10:00 pm, we reached Soekarno-Hatta Airport and nothing i could do unless being thankful to Allah SWT for our safety and lives. I feel deeply sorry for the people who lost their lives and were injured during that disaster. My pray always be yours.


Sabtu Pagi Ini

Hari sabtu adalah berkah tersendiri bagi gw, hari dimana gw bisa absen bangun jam 7 pagi demi kelas bahasa Korea dan melakukan ritual yang sungguh malas gw lakukan (baca: mandi), hari dimana gw membebaskan diri dari segala macem assignment (dimana baru bikin gw panik hari minggunya) dan dengan indahnya memanjakan diri gw bangun jam 10, bikin teh buat menstimulasi 'panggilan alam' dan nyantai kaya di pantai (dimana hidup gw baru dimulai setelah jam 12, hehehe). Daaaaan, kedamaian sabtu pagi yang cerah ceria bergembira kali ini GAGAL karena:

1. Alarm dari Samsung Galaxy Tabny si roommate yang ga berhenti nyanyi dari jam 7 pagi dan bikin gw melek mendadak, berjalan dengan malasnya ke meja si roommate dan matiin si alarm. Empunya? masih tidur macem bangke. Kalo ada yang nanya kenapa Tab nya si roommate di meja bukan di kasur biar si roommate yang matiin? itu karena 2 minggu setelah si roommate beli Tab, dengan dodolnya dia ngejatuhin itu gadget ke sela tempat tidur dan butuh upaya super duper extra buat ngambilnya. Kapok, semenjak itu si roommate naro Tabnya di meja, dan udah jadi tugas maha suci gw buat matiin alarm tiap pagi. Sial.

2. Anak-anak TK yang senam irama persis di bawah jendela kamar gw. Unyu-unyu banget ga seeeh liat anak TK lompat-lompatan macam pocong??? ga buat gw. Apalagi di sabtu pagi. Well, kamar gw emang berseberangan dengan TK dan SD milik kampus dimana biasanya aman sentosa di hari sabtu (apalagi pagi). Ternyata ga buat sabtu ini, dengan lagu berbahasa Korea yang sayup-sayup gw denger dari kuping kiri dilanjutkan dengan irama musik tradisional LIVE yang cempreng nian karena alat musik yang dimainkan semacam simbal (buat yang ga tau simbal, bisa dicek dimari) memaksa gw untuk melangkah ke balkon, melongok ke bawah dan liat pasukan anak TK yang bersiap karnaval macam 17an. Tuhaaaaan!! Cobaan apalagi inih? (lebay mode: on)

Dan sekarang disinilah gw, kembali posting sesuatu ga penting dan udah bangun dari jam 8 pagi tadi. What a saturday morning!


Bye Bye, Summer!

Finally, it is time to say goodbye to Summer! Lately, i can feel the weather is colder than last week especially at the night and temperature is start to decreasing below 20°C. I Cannot wait to see when leaves change its color into red and yellow. My friend said Autumn is the best season in a year and it's gonna be my first autumn! Yaiy!

As a farewell to summer, me and my friends : Tu, Teresa and Dina go to Can more, a cafe that served Bingsu; still in Sinchon area nearby from our school. Well, maybe even in autumn we still want to eat it as long as the cafe is open. Hehehe.

Bingsu is a popular dessert during Summer season in Korea to beat the heat, composed of shaved ice, frozen milk, rice cake and various fruits such as strawberry, kiwifruit and banana.  Originally, Bingsu began as ice shaving and sweet red bean (pat), it called Pat Bingsu but now it's available with several favors like Strawberry Bingsu and Chocolate Banana Bingsu like we ordered. Sooo delicious! Slruup! Slruup!

Talking about the place, i always like cafe' interior in Korea, they put a big effort to made it as cute as possible and suitable for the youth. It could be a marketing strategy to attract more customers i think. 

Our Bingsu!!

A lil' bit irritated with the color --"


Waiting for The Wind

Visited Imjingak resort at Paju, Gyeonggi province with Hesti. Actually this area famous as remnant of the Korean war and it's my second time to visit this resort. My first visit was on May to attended opening ceremony of 2nd Natural History Museum of Ewha and i posted it here

It took 1.5 hour by train from Sinchon station to Munsan station, then transfered with another train to Imjingang station.

At one side of the park, you can see a hill that filled by these windmills. This is actually our main purpose to visit Imjingak resort. hehehe, see windmills blowing by the wind under the blue sky. Buuuut, unfortunately it was cloudy T^T so these are some pictures that i took as best as i can. :)



Experiencing Chuseok

Wohooo!! just facing new semester and now have a long holiday for Chuseok from Saturday until Tuesday. Chuseok is kind of Korean Thanksgiving day, and it is the most important holiday in Korea because family members from near and far come together to share foods, stories and give thanks to their ancestor for abundant harvest. Many Koreans will return to their hometowns in countryside, yaiy! crowd-free!! Feels like Jakarta in Idul Fitri holiday i think.

So, today, me, Yunisa and Yunita-the twin exchange students from ITB visit Namsangol Hanok Village to experiencing some Korean cultures. Namsangol Hanok village can be access easily by subway line 3 or 4 and stop at Chungmuro Station exit no. 4. From there, you just have to walk around 5 minutes along Hanongmaeul-gil street. But, since i known as the Master of Lost, they also get this experience together with me at the first. We get lost to Namsan park not to Namsangol Hanok Village!! Hehehehe.

This area is very interesting since it standing between tall buildings. This village has five restored traditional Korean houses (Hanok),a pond, performance area and exhibition hall. For today performance they have several folk games, music performance and experiencing Chuseok for visitors like trying Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes), making your own traditional mask and kite, fan and so on. To have those experiences you have to pay 3,000 won/items. From all offers, i really interested to try Hanbok and make my own mask. So exciting experiences!

We're lost and walk farther --'' stupid me.

The main gate

The Exhibition Hall

Namsan Tower in the far

Similar with 'Gasing' in Indonesia

So impressive!!!

Experiencing Hanbok

Even wearing Hanbok, i couldn't be elegant. Haish!!

Making our own mask

Voila! Our colorful mask!


Tahu Tasik

Nemenin perjalanan balik si pacar ke Bogor sehabis mudik via YM (ahaaay!) chatting berjalan lancar dan bebas dari kebodohan sampai akhirnya....

Pacar: (laporan) Eh, gw udah lewat Tasikmalaya nih.

Gw: Oh, Tasik! (entah kenapa tau-tau gw excited) Nitip tahu yak?!

Pacar: Hah?

Gw: Tahuuuu!! Tasik kan terkenal sama tahu-nya!! Ih, masa lo ga tau?

Pacar: ................. (sumpah! jedanya panjang!) Sumedang kali maksud lo..

Gw: eh? .......... (mikir dulu) eh, su-me-dang yah.. hehehehehehehehehe...

Pacar: ................... (krik.. krik.. jangkrik pun kembali bernyanyi tralala trilili!!)

Gift of Nature

Another fascinating mountainous forest in Indonesia for me is Batang Toru at South Tapanuli, North Sumatera. Batang Toru is the remaining forest at Tapanuli region and it is also support habitat for wild Sumatran Orangutan. One of the environmental NGO (Non-governmental organization) named SOCP-Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme has built a small research camp in Batang Toru forest to monitor establishing research of Orangutan population there. 

At 2010 i had an opportunity to visit their camp and totally enjoy my time there. Wake up by morning call from 'Siamang', take a bath in a cool clean river, and walk with my bare feet in soft moist soil are really peacefully. In wilderness i sense the miracle of life (Charles A. Lindbergh, 1967)...

One of the amazing and unique plant which can be found in Batang Toru is a pitcher plant called Nepenthes (Kantong Semar). Nepenthes is a carnivorous plant that diverse around Borneo and Sumatera. Many are found in humid lowland area, but the majority can be found in tropical mountainous forest that receiving warm days but cool to cold humid nights year round. That's why this plant easily can be find in Batang Toru. The impressive thing from this plant is they attract insects with the odor of nectar. Once inside, the insects find it cannot get a grip on the wall of pitcher and ya, they trapped! Because of their uniqueness, lately people start exploiting it by hunting and selling them; it will be another threaten (beside habitat loss which is their major threat) for their existence in the future. 


Enjoy The Sun!!

Take a walk and enjoy the nice weather today with Soojung after had a meeting with my professor. Summer will be over soon! Yeaaah! Welcome back black hijab! Hohohoho! So we bought snacks and Soojung bring me to one place that i never knew before in my campus named Ewha W. University Archives Building and it just around 15 minutes from my lab! 

Ewha archives is a wooden building consisted of 2 floors and it was built in the commemoration of 120th anniversary of the establishment of Ewha in 2006. It is a replica of the first Ewha school building, Ewha Haktang.  It is the information that i get from Ewha website, hehehe. 

Well, since we wanna enjoy very nice and cool weather today, so we just stay outside, have a chat and of course take pictures. Hohoho! What a lovely day!!


Such a 'Not My Day'

Still thinking about some girls really really should learn about good manner and attitude! Well, not mentioned to generalized all of girls, but today 3 random girls, even i don't know two of them, made me lose temper. No matter how beauty you are, how smart you are, how branded your stuff are, if you don't have a good manner and respect other people, well.. ladies, you must be missed your etiquette class and please, never ever expect to be respected by other people then! 

First girl, I just finished my early morning Korean class and went to student cafetaria with my friend, we passed a big door (which is big enough to pass by three people from opposite way) and suddenly this girl (that too busy talked on the phone in right hand and hold a Starbucks coffee cup in another hand ) just walked through me and i have no idea why or what's wrong with her foot, she hit and push me so hard and it make me bump to the wall. At that time, i really expected a single simple apologize, that's enough to reminded me that she might in a rush, got let to go to her class and accidentally push me. And did she do that? BIG NO!! 

Second girl, After had a lunch, i prepared some of my papers and class' material in dormitory. Then, i just arrived in my lab at 2 pm, tired and need more sleep but i couldn't since i have another class at 3. I met ****,  She is 2nd year undergraduate student who doing her research in my lab, and this is our conversation:

She: Ayu, why do you come so late? (She even didn't say "Hi")
Me: huh? 
She: as far as i know, all graduate students should come to lab everyday in the morning. 
Me: Really? 
She: Yeah, i never see you in the morning. What are you doing? are you sleep until afternoon? What professors will think about you if you always come late like this and bla.. bla.. bla.. 
Me: (just stared at her and really expected didn't met her today) Is it important to you what  am i doing? is it important to you to judged me as a laziest girl in lab? (again, take a deep breath and smile to her) **** (her name), It is not your business to know what am i doing everyday. Well, just for your information i have Korean class in the morning at 8-11, maybe at 8 you even don't wake up yet, am i right? and maybe next time you have to learn how to speak more politely. Did you never be taught? or should i teach you? Have a good day! 
She: got blushed and speechless

Well, maybe i don't have to speak like that. But today is really not my day and insistent questions like that totally made me upset. 

Third girl, I waited in a line for my coffee in a convenience store when suddenly a girl entered and without any excuse, cut the line without queue up and ordered Iced Americano. WHAT THE??
Honestly, she is pretty, slim and fashionable (perfect from outer appearance), brought a Louis Vuitton bag, Iphone in her hand, and wear a shiny high heels that hard enough to hit a dog, but lack with one thing: MANNER! Again, being  pretty is a blessing but without good manner, you are NOTHING! 
Thank's God for this one, the cashier asked her to follow the line before i pointed and screamed to her. 

Sigh... my patience really in the lowest level today. Take a deep breath..Take a deep breath. Well, blame me to be so sensitive today, i'm in my 'period' (monthly period is my excuse to get mad or sensitive :p) But, again... Just to prompt myself, attitude is a little thing that make a big difference.


Medan Within Two Hours

In the middle of 'Molecular Ecology' lecture today, i got bored and yawned in every 2 minutes. Then i browsed my old files in computer and found some pictures from my trip to Medan, North Sumatera in 2010. 

At that time, i was worked in one research institution named ICRAF, me and Angga-my co workerr, just arrived in Medan after took some field data at Singkil, Aceh. Then, we had two free hours before our flight return to Jakarta. Angga prefer to stayed at the office, and me, without any plan, impulsively took a Becak motor; a traditional public transportation that commonly be found around North Sumatera. Becak refers to three cycles transportation commonly found in Java and somehow it tied up with a 1950's or 1960's motorbike. After a hard bargain with the driver, finally i went around Medan city and sight seeing several landmarks of Medan especially around Merdeka Walk and Jalan Ahmad Yani. The most scary thing in Medan was a noisy minibus and becak motor compete with taxis and motorbikes for spaces through the crowds and heatSo, dear passenger, please fasten your seat belt and get ready for the race!

There are many buildings that still retain the Dutch architecture, these include City Hall and the central Post Office also several historic places such as Maimun Palace, home of the Sultan of Deli and the Great Mosque (Masjid Raya). And here it is, some amateur pictures that i took during my two hours trip with Becak Motor. 

Driver park his Becakmotor in 'No Park' sign

Central Post Office

The Great Mosque

Maimun Palace, home of The Sultan of  Deli